Takoda Navy Yard is bustling on a Friday evening. Walking up to the second location of the rooftop beer garden beloved by Shaw residents, I was met with an inviting energy — patrons chatting away over light cocktails and crispy bites throughout the restaurant, and nearly every seat taken at Takoda’s kitted-out bar counter.
Assistant General Manager of Takoda Navy Yard Vance Jones told District Fray that the restaurant is crafting the same inclusive experience as its flagship establishment in Shaw, this time conveniently located across from Nationals Park.
“It’s been incredible to have our customers come in, a very diverse group of ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, and everybody’s been loving it. So our mission has been trying to deliver that exact same experience from the other location, remembering back here,” he says.
Since the unveiling of the new location on June 9, Takoda Director of Operations Nicholas Gambo also noticed many familiar faces have rolled through Takoda Navy Yard.
“We were packed the entire weekend. It was great — we got a line out the door on Friday. You know, I feel like people definitely showed up to show their support, and we had a lot of regulars that came from Shaw,” he says.
Takoda Navy Yard is undeniably sports-bar chic, although the establishment hosts the same inviting setting that Takoda’s patrons know and love — an open-air rooftop ideal for late summer evenings, comfortable booths lining the walls and a counter which houses the restaurant’s extensive beer and liquor collection.
Takoda’s go-to summer cocktails are in the name. The Basics is a fruity blend of rosé and vodka with hints of strawberry and lychee, while the Boardwalk Mojito is a summer classic enhanced by the rich flavor of demerara sugar.
Gambo said the differences across the bar’s two locations are subtle. At Takoda Navy Yard, the rooftop will be open year-round, and the location has introduced a new late-night menu on the weekends. Given the high volume of patrons Takoda sees on Friday and Saturday, the late-night order system at a booth on the bar’s restaurant level is a convenient way for customers to order small bites while the bar is at its busiest, he explained.
The late-night menu features all of the essential bar food staples, but elevated. Notably, the fish and chips are an airy combination of surprising light battered cod and fries tossed with rosemary. Pair that with Bloom City, a signature cocktail that delivers subtle floral notes of elderflower and hibiscus over gin. Of additional note on Takoda’s late-night menu are fried pickles and boneless wings, both of which serve a satisfying crunch.
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